We have found that by creating a stable living environment, and providing nutritious meals our clients find a renewed hope. With hope, clients can more accurately assess their behaviors and skills, and develop a willingness to change behaviors and improve their skills. Clients create goals and FISH holds them accountable. As clients achieve small goals, we work on bigger goals, like developing skills to move from minimum wage jobs to meaningful careers.
We summarize our services using our name, FISH provides Food, Instruction, Shelter, and Health care. FISH has locations in Carson, Douglas and Lyon counties, where we provide “a hand-up, not a hand-out”. During FY 19'-20', FISH served 3,672 Households of which 2,719 were under the federal poverty level. We provided 403,219 meals between our food banks and dining room, and 7,712 nights of shelter at our two emergency shelters.
The above numbers are UNDUPLICATED numbers, meaning even if a person came in many times last year, they were only counted once for these statistics.
FOCUS and Wylie House Emergency Shelters made 24 emergency beds available year round. The shelters averaged 21 people per night including some families with children in the Wylie House shelter.
FISH served as the agent for the NVEnergy Special Assistance Fund for Energy grant program in Carson City. In FY2019, FISH administered 172 grants for utility payments
FISH rolled out a “community database”, so local nonprofits and government agencies can jointly track and coordinate services for shared clients. This database improves overall services, reduces duplication of effort, and helps to identify “super utilizers” who over-use available community resources. We find that if our staff has to work harder than the client, the client will not succeed. So we challenge them to take an active role toward self-sufficiency.
Our Transitional Housing Program is designed to help families (who work a minimum of 40 hours per week and have kids under the age of 18) to get stabilized. FISH offers housing with low rent and gives these families 24 months to achieve a stable financial path. It's the next step to no longer needing assistance.
After nearly 25 years working for corporations, Jim began serving as Executive Director of FISH in 2009. Jim has experience rebuilding non-profits so they are self-sustaining and valued by the local community. He has focused on developing collaborative relationships to help improve and enhance the non-profits that he works with. Jim has a Master's Degree from Michigan State University and is a member of the local Pastor's Association and Rotary Club.
Renee, who has her Masters in Human Services, joined FISH as Client Services Manager in November 2020. She comes from a long background in working with clients, most recently as an Advocate for domestic violence victims in the Washoe Tribe. Her passion for vulnerable populations and client services empowers her to make a difference in our community.
Gillian Murdock joined FISH in January 2019 as the Manager of Food Distribution, Volunteers, and Events. She oversees the operation of the Food Bank and Family Dining Room, organizes our amazing volunteers, and manages the event coordination for FISH. In her downtime, Gillian loves to spend time with her family, compete in archery tournaments, and explore the outdoors with her husband and new puppy.
Jim has worked in a number of hotels and restaurants around the West and Colorado and came to settle in the Tahoe/Carson City area in 1979. He enjoys his profession and the food industry. On his off time he enjoys camping, reading, hiking and, of course, cooking.
John manages FISH's three homeless shelters. He has been with FISH since 2011 and has lived in Carson City since 2000. In his free time he enjoys fishing, sports, and attending to church.
Champ joined FISH in 2019.
Megan joined the FISH team in August of 2020. Originally from Los Angeles, she graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a B.A in Sociology. Megan loves to explore Northern Nevada, golf, hike, and do yoga in her free time.
JD joined FISH in November of 2020. She raised her 4 children and has lived in Carson City since 2003. We are very excited to have her as part of the FISH family.
Lover of all things motorcycle. And rock 'n' roll. And football. And the great outdoors: hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking.
Lorena joined FISH in August 2018 as a social work intern from the University of Nevada Reno. After completing her Bachelors of Social Work in May 2019 she joined the FISH team part time to work with the individuals in our homeless shelters, and continued her education to get her masters. In May 2020, she graduated with her Master of Social Work from the University of Nevada Reno and is now a full-time support to those in our homeless shelter and transitional living.
Lane, a Winnemucca native, joined FISH with over 15 years of management experience in Northern Nevada. With an MBA from UNR, he brings a unique organizational and strategic skillset to help in all of FISH's departments. Lane loves being with his kids on their homestead and getting outside whenever possible.